Sep 30, 2009

A Happy Coincidence - Thanks To The BBC

In the same week that I published my post "Castle Ice Cream's Smiling Faces" - a feature about the popular ice cream parlour at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire - I found myself watching a fascinating BBC TV programme entitled "Saving Britain's Past - The Country House". Focusing on how English country houses, castles and their estates have changed in the last century, the producers had selected one particular castle as the pivotal point for their programme and it just so happened to be .... Eastnor Castle! What a marvellous coincidence.

What's more, thanks to the BBC iplayer there is an online version of the programme for anyone who didn't get to see it. The opening shots of the castle are simply breathtaking and it's worth following the link for those alone. View it here: Eastnor Castle in Saving Britain's Past

One of the most interesting parts of the programme was the story of how the owners of so many of Britain's country houses and castles have had to change the way in which they fund the often, ongoing, specialised and very expensive repair work that these properties demand. Many have opened their doors to the general public as well as for corporate and private entertaining. Eastnor Castle is amongst those and its romantic lake setting has turned it into a popular 'exclusive use' wedding venue.

Reading the Eastnor Castle Blog gives a great insight into this unique country estate, more especially because its owner James Hervey-Bathurst (President of Britain's Historic Houses Association for the last 6 years) actually takes the time to write posts personally and about all manner of things - from features on the castle cat Nutkin to the story of the old 1962 estate works lorry, what the annual Spring cleaning at the castle involves to what it was like giving a keynote address entitled "The Restoration and Redecoration of Eastnor Castle, a Regency Mansion in the Welsh Borders" at the Charleston Art & Antiques Forum in the USA earlier this year. Incredibly varied and interesting posts and testimony to a man's love for his ancestral home. All that AND he encourages his visitors to enjoy quality, local made ice cream served in his own ice cream parlour. Now that's what I call style!

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May 13, 2009

Ice Cream Vans Threatened With Ban - What Do You Think?

On Monday I wrote a blog post called "The Prospect: No More Ice Cream Trucks On Our Streets" and yesterday I was asked by the BBC to join in a radio debate about the threat that currently exists in some parts of the UK to ban ice cream vendors from having licences to park in residential streets to sell their ice cream.

The reaction from not only myself but others taking part including the radio presenter himself was that it is an absurd idea. People also called in afterwards and sent text messages to the same effect. No-one said anything to the contrary! Such is the strong feeling that people have when it comes to ice cream, especially the ice cream van (in the US of course it's the ice cream truck).

As my friend Mary said to me this morning:

"Not only do they supply ice-cream, but they form a social function. They provide a touch of humanity amongst the welter of anonymous traffic."

However, there is always the risk that politicians and policy makers don't listen to 'the common man'. Therefore I'm going to open up this post to comments and invite you to cast your vote:


Please no junk - only serious comments from people interested in ice cream. Thank you.

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